Acolytes – 4

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Director – Jon Hewitt

Cast – Danny Baldwin, Holly Baldwin, Harley Bennick, Michael Doorman, Sue Dwyer, Joel Edgerton, Sebastian Gregory, Bella Heathcote

Release Year – 2008

Reviewed by John of the Dead

I’d been seeing this film mentioned around the horror community from time to time but never felt like spending the time to give this film a chance.  The storyline did appeal to me however, so I finally decided to give this one a chance.  After viewing this film I can se how a pretty cool storyline an be turned to crap by horrible writing and direction.  Let the bashing begin.

This film follows a group of teenagers from a small town that has been ravaged by a serial killer for the past several weeks.  One day one of the guys catches a glimpse of somebody burying something in a nearby forest.  He returns later with his friends and upon digging up the area they find the body of a missing girl.  With a little bit of investigative work the teenagers are able to locate the serial killer, but instead of turning him in they give him an ultimatum: do our dirty deeds or we’ll tell the cops everything.  The teens seem to have the upper hand but this is no ordinary serial-killer; the guy is smart, and has a sinister plan for the young blackmailers.

Like I wrote earlier, this film’s storyline really does appeal to me.  I am a big fan of serial killer flicks, and I am an ever bigger fan of serial killer films that offer me something I have not seen before.  I had never before seen a serial killer flick where the killer is blackmailed by a group of young teenagers, so bravo to the film’s writers for that one.  However this “bravo” is a short-lived one due to the fact that everything else about this movie sucks.  The idea of the kids blackmailing the serial killer could have gone really really well and given us an epic film piece.  Instead the blackmailing was unfulfilling and actually downright boring.  All of the characters were unlikable and were never developed past their names and a brief history of why they are seeking blackmail.

But wait, there’s more!  The direction in this film is equally bad and had me utterly uninterested throughout most of this film.  The pacing was horrid, and whatever “tension” this film had was fake and once again poorly executed.  I really did want to like this film, I want to like every horror film that I see, but this was just a sub-part effort and that’s that.

Now, not every aspect of this film was negative.  I personally really enjoyed the score to this film, have been opened up to some great new bands I’d never heard of prior to the film.  Unfortunately, that is all the praise this film gets.

Overall, this is a film that had a lot of potential with it’s storyline but was poorly executed and poorly written.  Stay away from this.

Rating: 4/10

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